Monday, October 09, 2006

Look out for deer

From the Argus

The numbers are pretty staggering.
In Livingston County alone, there are more than 1,200 car-deer accidents annually.

That averages out to more than three a day.

Given our high traffic counts and many areas that are still relatively rural, then perhaps it isn't surprising that five of the state's top 10 sites for vehicle-deer crashes are in Livingston County.
With deer season upon us, the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition has provided tips to avoid a crash with one of the state's 1.75 million deer.

Let's all be careful out there. Almost every time I drive to my parents house lately, I see at least two deer. They are very common, and with the building around, they will adapt to more suburban and semi-rural areas - double the case when some of the residents feed the deer.

Watch for deer especially at dawn and dusk. They are most active at those times, especially during the fall mating season. In spring, deer will move from cover to find food, and back to cover. Often they will feed along road rights-of-way, where grass greens up first.

If you see one deer, approach cautiously, as there may be more out of sight.

Deer often travel single file, so if you see one cross a road, chances are more are nearby waiting to cross, too. When startled by an approaching vehicle, they can panic and dart out from any direction without warning.

Be alert all year long, especially on two-lane roads. Watch for deer warning signs. They are placed at known deer-crossing areas and serve as a first alert that deer may be near.

Slow down when traveling through deer population areas.

Luckily, I've never gone one on one with a deer when I've been driving. I'd like to keep it that way.


Keith Richards said...

I just had a near-miss about 2 weeks ago near the intersection of 8-mile and Middlebelt, on the border between Redford and Farmington Hills and only a few miles from the edge of Detroit. This area has been built up and congested for years proving that car-deer accidents can happen almost anywhere.

A few years back a deer ran into the side of my vehicle and my sister once had the front end of her car mangled by one. We always hear that we need to be especially careful at dawn and dusk in the fall but both of these accidents happened a couple hours after sunset.

I once heard someone say there are only two kinds of drivers in Livingston County, those that have hit deer and those that ARE going to hit deer. If a person sticks around here long enough this may very well be true.

One thing I've learned is that I always come to a complete stop, wait a few moments, and then proceed slowly when a deer runs across the road ahead of me. As often as not more deer will quickly follow and slowing down does not help if the car is in their path when they decide to cross (See paragraph one, "Getting hit in the side by a deer")

AuH2ORepublican said...

"Staggering"? Deer me, doe the Argus folks sure like to buck conventionality, they still fawn over a good pun.